Value of milk exports grows to Sh1 billion despite challenges
Posted Monday, June 25 2012 at 18:26
The value of export milk and arising products has increased from Sh200 million in 2004 to over Sh1 billion last year.
Livestock Development minister Mohammed Kuti has said that the dairy industry registered consistent growth over the period, with milk received at processing plants rising from 274 million litres to 549 million litres.
This was revealed in a speech read on Dr Kuti’s behalf by assistant minister Dhadho Godhana Gaddae during the launch of a National Dairy Master Plan meant to enhance food security and sustainable economic development in Eldoret.
The minister said the dairy sub-sector had the potential to improve livelihoods of small scale farmers and pastoralist communities.
Over one million smallholder dairy farmers generate about 500,000 jobs across the dairy value chain whereas more than 30,000 others are involved in informal dairy marketing activities.
“The production situation in Kenya is unique in that the milk is produced by small scale producers who own two or three dairy cows each. The industry thus faces challenges, which have been a threat to sustained dairy development,” said the minister.
He said that there was need to demonstrate that milk and milk products are produced and processed under controls and procedures, which would provide confidence to consumers in order for Kenya’s dairy products to compete on the international markets and expand the export potential.
Dr Kuti expressed optimism that the master plan would address constraints that have adversely affected the dairy sub-sector, which is envisioned to turn around the economy and deliver the 10 per cent annual economic growth.
He cited inadequate use of technology in animal feeding, breeding, disease control, and climate change as some of the challenges facing the dairy industry.
Dr Kuti said that poor infrastructure and marketing channels had impacted negatively on the dairy sub-sector, adding that there was need for urgent intervention measures to change the situation.